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Shopping In Samana? DR?


#1

This is my first time going anywhere past North America. We are going to Samana DR in Jan. I have looked on the forum but cannot seem to find what I am looking for.

  1. What is the currency conversion from CDN to DOR and USD to DOR. Does anyone know where I can print off a cheat sheet to carry around with us?
  2. Is buying things there cheap? Like souveniers and stuff?
  3. Has anyone been to the Wynham Samana that can tell me about it more in detail?
  4. I am going to be taking my four year old and one year old… is taking a stroller and play pen a good idea or just extra baggage?

Any comments, suggestions and helpful advise would be totally appreciated as we are SO NEW to any vacation outside of the US / Canada!

THANK YOU


#2

the currency diff,changes day to day,my rule of thumb is 100 dominican peso’s is 4 dollars cdn or 3 dollars us ,you will be on the las terrenas side of the samana penn. not the samana side.Their are lots of shops in las terrenas, you can try haggleing about the price. Wynham resort you re staying at is on playa coson a fair distance from las terrenas so you will need ataxi or they might have a shuttle service? …my opinion is a stroller would be just extra baggage, more then likely the play pen to…you are going to a beautiful area beautiful beach but it can be rough at times, lots of great walking, have a great trip…


#3

[quote author=fbennett board=QuestionsabouttheSamanaPeninsula thread=1165891274 post=1165891274]This is my first time going anywhere past North America. We are going to Samana DR in Jan. I have looked on the forum but cannot seem to find what I am looking for.

  1. What is the currency conversion from CDN to DOR and USD to DOR. Does anyone know where I can print off a cheat sheet to carry around with us?
  2. Is buying things there cheap? Like souveniers and stuff?
  3. Has anyone been to the Wynham Samana that can tell me about it more in detail?
  4. I am going to be taking my four year old and one year old… is taking a stroller and play pen a good idea or just extra baggage?

Any comments, suggestions and helpful advise would be totally appreciated as we are SO NEW to any vacation outside of the US / Canada!

THANK YOU[/quote]

First of all, if you vacation at Viva Windham Samana, the hotel is located on Playa Coson, outside the village of Las Terrenas, on Samana Peninsula DR. Not to be confuse with the city of Samana, or a.k.a. “Santa Barbara de Samana” 60 km away. A good map of Samana Peninsula is here:
http://www.samana.net/maps-en.html and click on Samana Peninsula.

The rate of exchange is up and down daily; today is lower then yesterday due to the expected influx of dollars during Christmas time when the rate of exchange is getting lower.
Buy January might go back up again, today in Las Terrenas at Fort Knox was $RD32 to $US1 dollar. The symbol for Pesos Dominicanos is $RD not to be confuse with this “$” the symbol for US dollars. Bringing Canadian dollars will not be advantageous on the exchange, exchange your Canadian dollars in Canada at your bank or Foreign Exchange places, to US dollars, but not at the Airport.

Do not exchange dollars; in Pesos Dominicanos in Canada (or any other country) you will get the worst rate.

At your hotel might have a exchange wicket, but again will not be favorable, exchange at any banks in Las Terrenas, including at Scotia Bank (not the same as the one in Canada, separate entity) or at any “Casa di Cambio” (Exchange House).

To be sure of the exchange rate, ask here a few days before departure, what is the daily exchange rate and someone will respond, or I will, maybe.

Souvenirs and trinkets to purchase, mainly in Las Terrenas on Calle Principal, Plaza Rosada, El Paseo, and Plaza Taina, always room to negotiate. Be aware of street vendors with fakes CD or DVD.
A map of Las Terrenas in pdf format here:
http://www.samana.net/maps-en.html
Your hotel is in Playa Coson, not covered by this map and is a few kilometers West of Las Terrenas, walking with 2 kids and a stroller thru unpaved roads with numerous pot holes I don’t believe is an option. Better take a taxi, reception could call one for you and negotiate the price, about $US15 (that is US dollars) one way to Las Terrenas. Reception will be glad to call a taxi for you because they will get a small commission or a freebie from the taxi driver

A small stroller might be practical for the one year old, on the hotel grounds but not on the beach, you need a stroller with big wheels for the beach. Hotel might provide baby beds, but I don’t know what safety standards they are, better arrange with the hotel before arrival, contact them directly, they speak English.

Here is a picture of a proud grandfather with a stroller, on the beach in front of Hotel Playa Colibri, Las Terrenas (not me, I am the proud “Il Padrino”).

Have a good trip,
Samana


#4

Samana,wondering what is the exchange rate right now for both us and cdn dollars to the peso,thanks…


#5

On December 12 2006, the exchange rate at Fort Knox was 32 pesos to one US dollar, for every $US100 you get 3,200 pesos.

For today’s rate Contact Fort Knox

Fort Knox address:
PASEO DE LA COSTANERA (El Paseo Mall) LAS TERRENAS

Open 8H /13H
and 16 H/20 H Monday to Saturday, Closed Sunday

Tel Office 1.809.240.6719

Herve cel: 1.809.854.9155 on 24/7

e-mail herve.brousset@laposte.net alternate e-mail hervebrousset@hotmail.com

Like I said before on Canadian dollars the rate is lower and you lose, because always they will do the conversion to US dollars first, +commission and convert from the US dollars to pesos. Same as other currency. No matter what, the green buck is king in DR.

Samana


#6

THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!! SO VERY MUCH APPRECIATED…
I do have a couple more questions!!! heeheee.

BTW I printed out the above comments so that I can keep the information handy!

We are really looking forward to the trip but are very nervous too since this is the first time we are really venturing out side of North America.

Our real purpose of this trip is to R&R and spend some quality time with the kids. So that is what I am hoping for. But Las Terrenace sounds like a lovely place to visit since I see it’s not very far from where we are staying…

So now to my questions:

  1. Will they take US dollars at all or does everything have to be coverted into RD when purchasing something or tipping?
  2. Doe they have ATMs?
  3. Is using credit cards more favorable than cash?

Thanks… any help on our first trip is greatly appreciated.


#7

I have jet to meet anyone in the DR that won’t take USD. In fact I have heard (and someone please correct me if I’m wrong) that the USD is preferred over the the DR Peso.

ATMs - Not sure about Samana, but I have read that they are available.
Credit Cards - As many people will tell you, be carefull where you use them. Some (most perhaps) will tell you only to use them for paying for your trips, but not your purchases. Unless of course you are in a reputable establishment (jewelers, duty free, on resort gift shop, etc).

Those are my observations from going to POP, but I’m not sure who they apply in the Samana area.


#8

[quote author=fbennett board=QuestionsabouttheSamanaPeninsula thread=1165891274 post=1166040120]THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!! SO VERY MUCH APPRECIATED…
I do have a couple more questions!!! heeheee.

BTW I printed out the above comments so that I can keep the information handy!

We are really looking forward to the trip but are very nervous too since this is the first time we are really venturing out side of North America.

Our real purpose of this trip is to R&R and spend some quality time with the kids. So that is what I am hoping for. But Las Terrenace sounds like a lovely place to visit since I see it’s not very far from where we are staying…

So now to my questions:

  1. Will they take US dollars at all or does everything have to be coverted into RD when purchasing something or tipping?
  2. Doe they have ATMs?
  3. Is using credit cards more favorable than cash?

Thanks… any help on our first trip is greatly appreciated.

[/quote]

When purchasing all prices are in pesos, for souvenirs, trinkets, cigars, rum, wine or liquor. Some store they will accept and convert the purchase in any currency you got in your pocket, to close a sale, others wont.

At the supermarket, pay with pesos, at the souvenir store pay with pesos, to the pest of a t-shirt vendor, pay with pesos.

At the hotel, I recommend paying with US dollars for tips, for the maid leave two US dollars per day, on top of the pillow, for the server at the restaurant who will take your plates, warm the milk for the baby, etc tip a dollar or two per meal.
Total tips about 8 dollars per day for a family of four, is this to much? Don’t forget this people work hard for almost nothing, they will share your tips with their supervisor, for the maid, with the kitchen staff, for the server.
If you don’t want to tip, that is fine with any hotel worker, they will still clean your room and serve you, because this is their job and they are pay to do that.

And again I specify in one other thread, do not tip with coins, loonies, toonies, quarters etc. are useless, no bank will exchange this in any currency, your coins will end up having no value. Bring a lot of US dollar bills and 5s, pay the taxi with a 10 and a 5, and pay the excursion with bigger denomination 20 and 50. Keep the small denomination for tips.
They are ATM machines in the village; use the one in a well traffic area, such as the one at ScotiaBank in Plaza Rosada, or the one across from Fort Knox in Paseo del Costanera. ATM machine will dispense only pesos, not dollars, don’t withdraw more then you will spend, otherwise you will get stuck with some stinky pesos.
Hotel will not have an ATM, but for sure will be glad to take your Credit Card for excursions and other things such as a lost beach towel. But let’s hope this will not happen to you.

I will say, don’t use a credit card unless you are in an emergency situation or are itching to buy something really expensive, such as a down payment on that gorgeous villa on Loma Bonita.LOL

Rule of thumb for pesos conversion: the 100 pesos bill worth less then 3US dollars, the 500 pesos bill worth less then 15US dollars, the 1,000 pesos bill worth less then 30US dollars, and 2,000 pesos bill worth less then 60US dollars. This is the cheat sheet I always have in my mind, if you want to use it, go ahead, is not patented.

Hope I answered all your questions. Don’t forget to drop a note on this forum if this information was valuable and help you have a great vacation.

Samana


#9

[td]Hope I answered all your questions. Don’t forget to drop a note on this forum if this information was valuable and help you have a great vacation.

Samana[/td]

THIS PLACE IS AWESOME!! I have gotten a lot of great and useful information. I still have so many questions but I am thinking maybe I should change the name of the thread to read “I HAVE A LOT OF QUESTION!!” LOL ;D

I have another question that my husband brought to my attention. We have an SLR camera and a video camera. Is theft is issue? Should we be concerned about bring them? We love taking pictures and it looks like the beaches are beautiful!


#10

[quote author=fbennett board=QuestionsabouttheSamanaPeninsula thread=1165891274 post=1166067108]

I have another question that my husband brought to my attention. We have an SLR camera and a video camera. Is theft is issue? Should we be concerned about bring them? We love taking pictures and it looks like the beaches are beautiful! [/quote]

If theft, is an issue?

Sure it is. Any place on this planet theft is an issue.

Is crime an issue? Sure it is.

When you leave your house, you lock your doors, your valuable are in safe place? Right?

Why not when you vacation in a foreign land, lock your valuable, money passport, wallet, and credit cards in the room safety box. Don’t leave valuable lying around in the room, the diamond earrings left in dish soap from a night before, might disappear during the day when you are having fun at the pool.

When you go at McDonald with the kids, you leave your purse full of credit cards, money and Id’s hanging on the back of the chair and you supervise the kids on the Fun Land? I don’t think so.

Common sense precautions will prevent unpleasant events.
Dominican Republic is not a crime free land, and we could say the same about your country of origin.

Should I go on and how to go about your cameras? Hope you got the message.

Any other questions of no interests to readers of this forum could be address by PM (Private Message).

Have a nice day,

Samana

P.S. Maybe the above sound to harsh, but is not, use your common sense. Always.
Samana


#11

Ummm Okay. Thanks I think. ???

Sorry for asking such a stupid question… It’s not that I don’t have common sense I was just asking some general questions since I had a lot of questions and I am new to traveling outside of Canada and new to forums. So sorry for my ignorance.

I guess maybe this forum isn’t for me.

Thanks for the information.


#12

Hmmm… ???
Why not?
I can’t think of another forum where one would have given you more and better information.
Well, now that you’ve got that…

m’frog


#13

Well put. Travel outside of the U.S. or Canada is not the same as being at home. You need to keep your wits about you and use common sense. The calvary will not becoming to the rescue. Regardless, as with most of you, we treasure our trips to the DR and other destinations and the opportunity to experience the people and places (and cervasas). It can be more dangerous but not unmanageable. Heading to Samana for the first time in February and counting the minutes!


#14

[quote author=fbennett board=QuestionsabouttheSamanaPeninsula thread=1165891274 post=1166319501]Ummm Okay. Thanks I think. ???

Sorry for asking such a stupid question… It’s not that I don’t have common sense I was just asking some general questions since I had a lot of questions and I am new to traveling outside of Canada and new to forums. So sorry for my ignorance.

I guess maybe this forum isn’t for me.

Thanks for the information. [/quote]

Dear Mrs. Bennett,

On the bottom of my post I add a P.S., Maybe the above sound to harsh, but is not, use your common sense. Always.

Notice: “but is not”, intention was not to be harsh, only real.

I know sometimes I am to blunt on presenting the truth, you should see my wife face when I told her that is no such things as Santa Claus.

Have a nice day.

Samana


#15

I understand… I admit I was a bit taken back by your comment BUT I totally understand… and it was well taken into consideration!!

Thanks again! :slight_smile:


#16

For an excellent currancy converter go to debbie’s main page…click FYI… go down to currency where there is a highlighted link to a currency converter. It allows you to print off a small card to fit in your wallet…


#17

THANK YOU!! That’s wonderful! :slight_smile: